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Quick looks

The unbiased press: If someone would like to do the math, you have to update yesterday's total deaths due to major bombing incidents by 49, thus changing all the percentages—upward, of course. (I won't count the U.S. soldier because we're talking about Iraqi deaths, not American.) Strangely, although the AP has updated its daily look at U.S. deaths in Iraq, it has not updated its roundup of major attacks since the invasion. Why, one would think they're biased or something.

If they answer to a higher authority, why is there a shortage? In the comments to yesterday's post, Dan mentions this article, which talks about the shortage in Hebrew National hot dogs and other deli products. I find it amusing that an article from a Florida newspaper interviewed Kenny, the owner of the deli in Clark that is my mother's favorite place to have the Early Bird Special. I'm betting the writer has eaten there as well. They have the second-best corned beef in New Jersey. The first is Zayda's in South Orange, where I go every time I visit New Jersey. In fact, Zayda's also is the only deli I've ever known that also has great potato pancakes. Most reheated potato pancakes suck. Zayda's are as good as homemade.

The Google News Challenge: At 1:18 p.m., there were 588 results for Jeff Gannon, 400 for Jeff Gannon Guckert, and 143 for Eason Jordan quits. The number goes up to 647 for Eason Jordan.

Somehow, I'm thinking that the stories simply don't seem nearly as equivalent as they're made out to be. And let's not even start about the relevance of your sexual preferences to being a reporter. Hypocrisy, thy name is Kos.

Who do they think we're going to think it is, my cousin Sharon? Why do the wire services constantly refer to Ariel Sharon as "Israel's Sharon?" As in, "Israel's Sharon Speaks to Arab Press." Is there any other world figure named Sharon? Or is this another subtle hit, perhaps intending to pretend that if you don't precede his name with "Israel," people will think it's Murray Sharon who owns the corner store that's going to be speaking to the Arab Press?

Yeah. I'm sure that's it.

Hizbollah is feeling the heat: Hassan Nasrallah is running damage control for his Syrian and Iranian masters. He's warning that Lebanon shouldn't fall back into civil war. Uh-huh. Because his head would be on the block, if the Lebanese get serious about taking back their nation from forein puppets. The Reuters article actually had an almost-accurate portrayal of the facts..

Hizbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, is now a formidable Lebanese political party as well as an anti-Israel guerrilla force that still controls much of south Lebanon since helping end a 22-year Israeli occupation in May 2000.

It's the word "guerrilla" that isn't quite right. But Syria is also feeling the heat. I think I sense a chill wind blowing through the Middle East. The Dorktator's days are numbered.

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A daily look at deaths in Iraq

Every day, the Associated Press runs a story titled "A daily look at U.S. military deaths." The latest one starts as follows:

As of Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005, at least 1,471 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,113 died as a result of hostile action, according to the Defense Department. The figures include four military civilians.

The AP count is 12 higher than the Defense Department's tally, last updated at 10 a.m. EST Thursday.

Every time there is a major terrorist attack or series of attacks in Iraq, the AP runs this article, updated: "Some of the Deadliest Attacks in Iraq." The lead is always the latest horrific attack.

Here are some of the deadliest insurgent attacks in Iraq targeting Iraqi citizens:

Feb. 18, 2005: Four explosions rip through Baghdad, killing at least 28 and injuring dozens on the eve of Shiite Islam's most important holiday. At least three blasts were suicide bombings.

I have a simple question for the AP: Why don't they run an article titled "A daily look at Iraqi deaths due to terrorist attacks"? Because by their count, those fifteen worst days have a death tally of 826 Iraqis. Let me repeat that: In only fifteen incidents, the total number of deaths is 56% of the total deaths the American military has suffered in Iraq (and those include deaths from fatal accidents). When you exclude accidental deaths, the statistic rises to 74% of the total of U.S. military deaths. In fifteen days. Out of two and a half years. In other words, the AP doesn't tally the daily shootings, beheadings, and "minor" bombings. One wonders what the total number of "insurgent"-caused deaths must be. And where one could find out such a tally.

But there is no website devoted to the deaths of ordinary Iraqis by terrorist attacks. And there there is no ongoing tally of Iraqis killed in "insurgent" attacks.

There are, however, websites that tally deaths due to coalition forces.

I guess Iraqis killed by terrorists simply don't count, except to their grieving relatives.

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Good news for Jews

Inspired by Joel G., here's a roundup of good things happening to Jews.

Cemetery desecrator gets six years: The man responsible for smashing 62 headstones in a Jewish cemetery is going to be in jail for a long, long time.

In handing down the landmark sentence, Judge Alistair McCreath said: “You have caused huge distress to relatives of people in the cemetery and the whole Jewish community – you targeted them because of their faith.

“Judges read newspapers and we see a trend of anti-Semitism in Europe spreading into this country. The courts need to make it plain that it won’t be tolerated.”

He added: “Racism is a cancer which needs to be eradicated from our society.”

That's a very good signal, U.K. Here's another: The BBC apologized for passing on a blood libel about the IDF, where a minister related a story he'd supposedly heard from a supposedly Muslim Israeli soldier, about being ordered to shoot palestinian children. Of course, the better signal would have been if the BBC had done a little fact-checking and not allowed this lie to be passed along in the first place. I'm sure it will end up on the neo-Nazi sites.

Jewish listeners contacted the BBC to point out that elements of the story could not be true. Israeli Arabs are exempt from conscription and it would be almost impossible for a soldier aged 19 to be promoted to corporal.

The BBC's apology said the corporation had been "unable to find any evidence to support the story". The Israeli authorities told the corporation that there was no proof of the soldier's existence.

Well, at least they withdrew the story and apologized. That's a big thing for the BBC, whose Israel coverage is among the most biased in the world.

Fascinating, Dr. Einstein: Benny Morris digs into Einstein's correspondence with Jawaharlal Nehru to get India's support for the state of Israel in 1947.

A French city beats back anti-Semitism: Really. No, really. The city of Marseille shows France how it can be done.

Yet while in other French cities the violence continues, in Marseille the animus soon fizzled out. This is largely because the city reacted with revulsion to these crimes: City-wide protests against anti-Semitism were immediately organized. Significantly, Arabs participated in these protests.

Islamic leaders were also present for the burial of the synagogue's charred Torah scrolls, and were photographed comforting Jewish religious leaders. These symbolic actions have been surprisingly successful in dampening outbreaks of ethnic violence.

Marseille's success is particularly impressive when one considers its demographics.

Fully a quarter of Marseille's population is of North African origin, and demographers predict that Marseille will be the first city on the European continent with an Islamic majority. Moreover, its Jewish community is the third-largest in Europe.

The most ethnically diverse city in France, then, has paradoxically been the most successful in containing its outbreak of ethnic violence.

A key reason for the city's calm is an entity called Marseille Esp rance, a group of religious leaders convened by the mayor in a regular discussion group. Created in 1990 to stave off ethno-religious conflict between Jews and Muslims, it includes delegates from each of the city's religious communities who meet regularly to discuss civic problems, "combat intolerance, ignorance and incomprehension," and "promote respect for one another."

It can be done. It should be done. There's hope for France.

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Meanwhile, on other people's blogs

There's a new blog in town: CampusJ, a blog to encourage up-and-coming young Jewish journalists. And they've got more on Ward Churchill, who apparently thinks everyone he disagrees with is an Eichmann. Because he's using the same epithet for historian Deborah Lipstadt. Whatta guy.

Fact-checking Vonnegut's ass: Speaking of Deborah Lipstadt, read this account of how Holocaust denier David Irving has managed to spread his lies about the destruction of Dresden. My own ideas of that part of WWII are completely colored by my having read Slaughterhouse-Five. And in all the rereadings, it never occurred to me to connect the David Irving he references in the novel with the one who lost his case against Lipstadt by being declared in court a Holocaust denier. He plays fast and loose with the facts.

You know, I'll never lose my admiration for Vonnegut's writing talent. But I may never respect his political views ever again.

Long overdue link: Noah Shachtman's DefenseTech has the skinny on the why the bill for Iraq keeps getting bigger, and the bill known as the "supplemental," which allows the Pentagon to take money out of soldiers' payroll to use in other programs, knowing full well there's not a Senator in the government who would vote against Army pay. (And by the way, gee, doesn't DefenseTech look really cool now? Selling out becomes you, Noah.

Young vs. Alterman: I didn't link to the knockdown-dragout because, well, I lost all respect for Alterman the sixteenth time ago he pulled something like this. But when Cathy Young herself emails me the link, well, it's time to go there. There may be three or four of you may not have seen it. My opinion? Alterman wouldn't like it at all. I think it's pushed him way over to the self-hating Jew column.

I keep wanting to call him Solly: Solomon has improved the physical look of his blog by making his excerpt text larger. My eyes thank you. My head (which would have gotten the headache) thanks you. And my eye doctor thanks you. And in the Duh! Moment department: I forgot you can "change skins" and get rid of the reverse type look.

Thanks, Solly. Oops. I guess I did it.

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Disengage from the disinvestment movements

Let's take a look at events in Israel in the last few weeks.

  • The disengagement from Gaza and several West Bank towns is still on.
  • Palestinian prisoners are scheduled to be released.
  • The IDF will stop demolishing the houses of terrorists.
  • The route of the security fence is being modified by Israeli courts
  • Israel is allowing palestinian terrorists who were deported to return, including the terrorists who were responsible for the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

So what's the Presbyterian Church (USA) doing about disinvestment now that the moves they requested are actually starting to come to fruition?


However, more Protestant churches are discussing disinvestment. It's good to know that Israel's moves are being greeted by positive steps by her critics.

I believe we've gone past anti-Zionism here and are treading dangerously close to anti-Semitism. But then, I'm just one of those people who yells "anti-Semitism" when the world criticizes Israel, right?

Yeah. Right.

Put up or shut up, Israel critics. Ariel Sharon is risking his political career, and frankly, his life, to do exactly what the world has demanded he do. Now it's time to see positive moves from Israel's loud-mouthed critics.

Or was the point really just to criticize Israel, after all?

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Credit where it's due

I added a masthead to the main page. I'll think about adding it to my other pages. I thought it was about time I let you folks know who does the real work around here. | |

On Second Thought

Oh, the felinity! Tig has a slit in his left ear. It's about half an inch long, and looked better before I decided to put antibiotic cream on it. He apparently got into a dustup with one of the neighborhood kitties. I'm guessing it was the grey cat, because he came by an hour or so later and had words with Gracie and me through the patio door. Tig heard, came running downstairs, added his two growls, and that's when I got rid of Grey Cat the old-fashioned way: Threw water at him to make him leave. I deliberately didn't try to get him wet. It's cold at night. I just wanted the cats to settle down enough to sleep, as I was quite shaken by the blood and the hole in Tig's ear, though he seems completely unaffected by it. Well, except for shaking his head violently so he could get blood all over the kitchen. Because he's a cat, of course.

Damn, it's ugly-looking today. I should have left it alone. It's not ugly as in infected, it's just ugly as in "dried blood everywhere, ew." I'd get a picture for you, but my digicam isn't working right now. I have to get it fixed. Or buy a new one. Wait, no money for a new one. Fix it, it is.

Wait, I'm lost: So last night, I decided Locke is the creepiest character on Lost. That smile he gave Sawyer when he told him about his sister and his foster mother and the dog—brrrrrr. What do you say, Jim? You've been pretty quiet about the show lately. By the way, I have yet to get over your nickname for Boone. I simply can't see him on the show at all without thinking of it. Damn you, Treacher! Am I the only one who thinks "How lame can you get?" when I receive some dozen or three of the "Your mail has been returned" spams (to people and places I never emailed) complete with a zip file that I'm supposed to open? Shyeah, right. That thing simply screams out loud "I'm a virus! Open me, stupid!"

And yet, people are going to fall for it.

More TV blogging: The Gilmore Girls 100th episode (sorry, I get it a week late in this midmarket TV backwater) was phenomenal. But I liked the 99th episode more (yay, Emily and Richard are back together!). Gotta say, though, I was a groomswoman at my friend's wedding and I didn't go all guy-tux. I wore the top half of a tux outfit, and a nice black skirt. Rory could have done the same and looked much better, if you ask me.

I looked fabulous, by the way.

San Diego Reader Alert: I'm heading out to the San Diego area around March 2nd for a family get-together. I should have a little time to meet up with Lt. Smash and a few others. I'm really hoping for enough time to head up to LA and meet Roger Simon and Charles Johnson and that crowd, but I don't know if I'll be able to.

My fear of heights, which has grown more pronounced as I grow older, should make the flights a real page-turner. I haven't been on a plane in about five years. I'm thinking I may use alcohol as anti-panic medication.

Back and forth on Worf: Heidi called the last referral vet, and he says he doesn't do radiation. After talking it over with her husband, they decided they're not going to try radiation at all. They're also concerned that having the tumor cut out is what's making it grow back faster, and they think the growth has finally slowed. So they're going to leave it as is. She says he eats his food (wetted dry food) with great gusto, and that yesterday, Sorena went into school late and Worf was deviling her like he used to—grabbing her fuzzy slippers off her feet, pawing at her, doing his best to annoy her and get her to chase him—so it seems the reports of his demise were exaggerated.

I sure hope so. I'm not ready for life without Worf. I can't describe to you how happy he is when he's got my sneaker and is making me chase him to get it back. His whole face lights up, and this great, big, 100-lb. Rhodesian Ridgeback prances like a puppy. And that's not nearly as happy as he gets when it's time to for his run with Heidi. And all of those pale as to the happy dance he does for dinner or scraps. Worf is a dog that is simply full of joy, and I will miss him intensely after he's gone. It seems, though, that that day isn't nearly as soon as I had feared. Here's hoping.

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The more things change...

Same old, same old: palestinian "justice." Try not to choke on the word:

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ratified death sentences against three Palestinians found guilty of "collaboration" with Israel.

So, is anyone protesting? Well, not exactly.

According to Amnesty International, some of the defendants were sentenced to death by firing squad after an unfair trial.

"The trials, before the State Security Court in Gaza, took place in a single sitting in the evening, during which they did have some access to lawyers. Amnesty International has previously condemned trials by the State Security Court as being grossly unfair. Trials are often summary, taking place before military judges, and there is no right of appeal," the group said in a statement.

I'm guessing this story will not get picked up by the major media outlets.

No, really, the EU is tough on terror! The Times showcases how much of Europe resists labeling Hizbullah a terrorist group, and the charge is led by—surprise!—France.

In the past two weeks, the officials said, France has rebuffed appeals by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Israeli foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which would prevent it from raising money in Europe through charity groups. The United States has long called Hezbollah a terrorist organization, but the French, American and European officials said, have opposed doing so, and argue that making such a designation now would be unwise, given the new turbulence in Lebanon.

Israeli and American officials say that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has told them that he, too, regards Hezbollah as a destructive force in the Middle East, one determined to undermine peace talks by supporting militant groups that attack Israelis.

So here's the kicker: Even the pals admit Hezbollah is a terrorist organization (without, of course, using that word), but France will not. France, how low can you go? Evidently, farther than we can imagine.

And the rockets just keep on coming: I thought the PA police were supposed to stop kassam rockets from being fired at Israelis. But then, sometimes I like to think I'm Queen of the World. It doesn't come with a crown, luckily. I look stupid in a crown.

Oh, maybe this is why they can't stop the terrorists: They're joining the "police" force.

About 350 Palestinian gunmen will be incorporated into the Palestinian Authority security forces soon as part of a deal reached between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of all the Palestinian factions, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The militiamen, who are on Israel's list of wanted terrorists, belong to various factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The mind reels. The foxes will be guarding the henhouse. Oh, that'll work. Why, it's already working. Not.

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Let's start a meme: He's the Dorktator

People are trying to find a fitting title for Baby Assad, the schlub who supposedly runs Syria. I designated him the Dorktator some time ago, based on these two pictures. I wrote the below in January of last year.

Baby Assad plays Adolf

Various media outlets have been posting pictures of the little dictator. Y'know, this guy is the dorkiest dictator to walk the earth since that little Austrian psychopath. And look at this picture I found (left): Darken the mustache, ignore the stork-neck, and it could be Adolf's bigger (but dorkier) brother. I think he was going for that look, myself.

Then again, there's this picture (right), in which he's even dorkier. Man, if he wasn't the dictator's son, bet he would have gotten his ass kicked all through high school. I do believe from now on I'll be calling him the dorktator.

And he's an ophthalmologist. The world's only dictator who can order your eyes plucked out after first checking them for glaucoma.

The Dorktator!

You simply can't find a picture of this guy where he doesn't look like a dork. Ergo, the Dorktator. Got it, Tom? Got it, Sisyphus? Really, I think he simply screams out to be called a dork by all and sundry.

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Today's moment of kitty zen

Remember that ice storm I told you about a few weeks ago? This is where (and how) Tig spent the storm.

Tig on chair

I know, it's a tough life. But somebody has to live it.

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The case against Syria

This one's for Alex Bensky: The world is losing patience with Syria. Gee, go figure. Fifteen years of occupying a land that is not your own doesn't do it, but one little explosion that takes out a former prime minister who might have managed to get the Syrians out of his country? Now we're pissed. The U.S. has recalled our ambassador. The EU has rushed to judgment, as usual: Javier Solana insists that there is no need to change EU-Syrian ties over a mere political assassination. Because there, like, aren't any UN resolutions calling for the removal of Syrian forces from Lebanon or anything like that. Of course, he is calling for an investigation, as is the ever-vigilant Kofi Annan, who hasn't met a crisis yet that he can't organize a committee for. Makes you proud of the tax dollars we spend for the UN, doesn't it?

Meantime, editorial writers have no such problem dithering about laying the blame for this incident. The Times Online:

The massive explosion that ripped through the motorcade of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, murdering him and nine others and wounding a hundred more, was more than a bloody crime. It was a pre-emptive strike against Lebanese efforts to regain control over their destiny by securing an end to Syria’s long and suffocating military occupation.

Mr Hariri’s car was bullet-proofed and equipped with systems to thwart remotely-controlled explosives. This was a highly sophisticated operation that required meticulous planning. Although a hitherto unknown group calling itself Support and Jihad in Syria and Lebanon claimed responsibility yesterday, it could hardly have been executed without at least the connivance of Syria’s ubiquitous intelligence services. Whether or not Damascus is directly guilty of this murder, it happened on its baleful watch.

[...] Mr Hariri was assassinated as he returned from taking part in a heated parliamentary debate on the law governing the forthcoming elections. The symbolism will have been lost on no one. The intent was to strike terror into any Lebanese politician thinking of campaigning on a “Syria out” ticket. If this was the message, Damascus reinforced it yesterday. Syria called the murder “a criminal, ugly act” yet pointedly condemned “those who are sowing sedition in Lebanon” and exhorted the Lebanese to “reject any internal sedition or outside interference”. The “interference” Syria objects to, Lebanese are aware, is the increasing international pressure on it to match Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon — a withdrawal that removed Syria ’s only excuse for being there.

And just for kicks and giggles, here's a history of some of the more prominent assassinations in recent Lebanese history. Let's play a game: How many can we blame on Syria and Iran?

So, on Google News, how does the main headline on Syria get displayed this afternoon? Why, with the Israel angle, of course.

Because after all, it's those Israeli terrorists who murdered Hariri, who are occupying Lebanon in spite of UN Resolutions to withdraw, and who are controlling Lebanese elections. Oops, wait. My bad. That would be Syria.

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Other people's words

The Blog: It's unstoppable. Sarah has started her own blog, so if you don't get enough Twinsday stories here, you can go there.

Muslim ERA watch: In Israel, this time. Rahel's got the details.

More Jewish bloggers: I liked Treppenwitz. There are a lot of new (to me) blogs that I found via the JIB awards. You should check them out. I'll be updating my links page soon.

Best quote of the Eason Jordan affair: By Howard Kurtz. "After all, bloggers can form all the lynch mobs they want, but if they don't have the factual goods, or an issue that resonates, their targets will slip the noose."

Worst quote of the Eason Jordan affair: By Mike Moran. "...a nastiest subset of the “Blogosphere:” those who think the Internet's self-publishing technology (and free-wheeling definition of “fairness”) has annointed them as the Taliban of the American media." [Rolling eyes] Oh, yeah, that analogy will become a meme. Sure.

Why I read Imshin: It's posts like this one.

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The JIB Award results

Look, Ma, I won an award! I won two of them! (Dave's right, they are very pretty logos. Thank you, Mrs. T.)

I have to repeat this quote from a friend after she saw that I won the award: "Wow. A total of 738 votes. It's a mandate!"

So there. I now have a mandate from the Israelly Cool JIB Awards corner, and when I figure out exactly what that means, I will tell you what I'm going to do with it.

I wonder if it includes money? Do mandates generally include monetary rewards? Because, like, that'd be really cool. Or Israelly Cool. Get it? Get it? AHAHAHA, sometimes I just slay myself.

Okay, stopping now.

Seriously, though. Thank you all.

By the way, I would like to point out that all of my votes were obtained honestly. Good to know you guys respect me enough not to cheat for me.

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The third annual International Eat an Animal for PETA Day

Some people are mentioning IEAPD, and linking to the original post, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to update you all on this year's festivities. Yes, we are continuing our annual Mocking of the PETA People, because they always have something for us to laugh at (rather than get angry over). Their latest offense to things Jewish was their attempt to accuse a kosher slaughterhouse of cruelty to animals. Their charges were debunked. Yes, I know you're as surprised as I was to hear that PETA lied once again, which would be not at all.

Yummy cowIn honor PETA's continuing prevarications, and constant annoyance, we once again urge our readers to do what pisses them off the most: Eat meat on International Eat an Animal for PETA Day, March 15th (chosen because it was a Saturday, a convenient day to meet other webloggers, and come to think of it, if I could relive that day, well, I wouldn't. Bill Cimino is a scary guy with alcohol in him. Come to think of it, Wind Rider is scary with or without the booze.

March 15th is a Tuesday night here. There's a steakhouse in Richmond that I like very much that I could be convinced to go to for dinner. Or I'll just have some kind of beef or chicken at home. How many Richmonders read this blog, anyway?

Remember, nothing says "Eff you, PETA" like a yummy cow dinner. Mm. Cow.

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On Second Thought

It's all about me: I updated my "About" page. This weblog turns four in April. I figured it was about time.

Cats are better than dogs: Well, sometimes. I was thinking that one of the reasons I like cats more than dogs is because cats purr when you pet them. If I were to make a list... well, cats don't slobber all over you. They don't sniff your butt. They don't hump your leg. They're not big enough to knock you down if they leap on you, with the exception of Edloe. (Don't ever tell me Tig is fat again. He's only seventeen pounds.) Of course, the reason I was thinking this was because I've been deliberately waking Tig up every time I remember to, to get even with him for waking me up all morning.

Ucky, ucky, ucky: I went to get a drink of Coke and decided that the refrigerator needs to be cleaned. I hate cleaning the fridge. Anyone out there in the Richmond area who likes cleaning fridges? What? Pay you? Never mind.

Back to sleep: I am so, so tired. I need about another three hours' sleep to get myself up to normal, I think, and I slept a long time last night (though interrupted and with crappy dreams). I wonder if I caught one of those low-level colds that show up as exhaustion. I had a scratchy throat last night and this morning. And it's too late to take a nap; I'd never get to sleep at a decent hour tonight. Then again, it's a grey, dreary, rainy day. Perhaps it's just the atmosphere.

I'm out: I can't seem to think of anything else to write. Time to take that nap, I think.

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The war is "effectively" over; pigs are "effectively" flying

Yeah, sure, right: The New York Times says Mahmoud Abbas declares the war with Israel is "effectively" over.

Mr. Abbas said the war with the Israelis would be over "when the Israelis declare that they will comply with the agreement I made in Sharm el Sheik, and today our comrades in Hamas and Jihad said they are committed to the truce, the cooling down of the whole situation, and I believe we will start a new era."

Really? Hamas is committed to a truce?

Even as it announced it would maintain the current relative calm, Hamas was using the lull in Israel's offensive actions to stock up on Kassam rockets, mines and mortar shells in the Gaza Strip, defense sources said Sunday.

To overcome a lack of raw materials, Kassam rocket makers have begun using pipes that held up street signs. Because of this there is a dearth of signposts in Gaza, military sources said.

Cooling down?

A mortar shell was fired at an IDF post near a settlement in southern Gaza. No one was wounded and no damage reported.

Start a new era?

The mortar shelling and the firing of Qassam rockets on Thursday on Gush Katif was carried out by three Palestinian groups, not only Hamas. Orders for the operation were issued by the Hamas leadership in Damascus.

Hamas fired mortars in the morning and as a show of solidarity at the request of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and a group of the Popular Resistance.

Funny, sounds like the same-old, same-old to me.

Iran and Hezbollah as instigators of terrorism in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories: high-ranking officials in the PA claim Hezbollah recently increased its efforts to disrupt the calm in the PA-administered territories by encouraging its operatives there to escalate their activities

The Iranian view? "Arabs in Israel's trap."

In fact, the Arab states’ attempt to establish relations with Israel is one of the most dangerous chapters in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.>

While the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, the repatriation of Palestinian refugees, and the final status of Beit-ul-Moqaddas are still shrouded in ambiguity, the establishment of ties with Israel can be regarded as an undeserved reward given by the Arabs to the criminal Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Although most of the Arab states have never helped the Palestinians in their efforts to acquire their legitimate rights and resolve their problems, their ties with Israel cannot be justified politically or economically.

Israel has occupied Arab territories for almost 57 years, and it has never observed United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. During this period, the Zionist regime has massacred thousands of innocent Palestinians.

Oh, yeah. The war is "effectively" over. And I am "effectively" convinced. Uh-huh.

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That and this

Smash this, Billem: Holy crap! I'm being sued by Dr. Bruce Banner. I think they're part of the firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe. Well, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to call Eugene Volokh. I think I'm covered under the parody rule, though.

Ohmigod! There's a quilt on the bed! The twins had a banner weekend. It was their first weekend in big kid beds, and everything went fine the first night, Sarah says. The problem hit today, after they went shopping for (and picked out their own) sheets and blankets. The drama and trauma, as Sarah put it, was having a quilt on their beds. Cribs don't have quilts, and their worldview wasn't ready to accept such a radical change. Tears. Crying. Screaming. Finally, Max agrees to sleep on top of the quilt, and Rebecca agrees to go to sleep after the quilt is scrunched up in the bed so she doesn't have to be under or on top of it.

Life is so hard when you're three.

No, life isn't fair: Worf's tumor is getting worse and worse. It's likely that he's going to have to be euthanized in the next few weeks. I don't have the heart or energy to write about it tonight, but it really sucks, because except for the damned tumor in his jaw, he's in perfect health. He did everything he normally does, even though he's starting to look like the kid in the movie Mask. He begged for scraps (got 'em), put his head in my lap, licked my dinner plate, and after dinner, stole my sneaker and made me chase him around the living room to get it back (slimed, of course).

There's only one tiny chance left for him, but we're not giving it much hope. The sad fact is that we're going to be facing life without Worf, and probably soon. It is no consolation at all that Heidi will probably get a puppy soon after Worf goes. I want Worf for a few more years, please. He's only nine.

Well, this one's funny: Marduk would be proud. This is one of the best insults of the French I've seen in quite some time. Nice going, Dave.

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Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.